BSO opts out of Shot Spotter system

BSO: System didn't deliver enough busts for bucks

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A high-tech crime-fighting tool used to detect gunfire is getting the ax.  

After a yearlong trial run, the Broward Sheriff's Office is opting not to buy the Shot Spotter system. 

In theory, deputies said, the technology is great because it alerts police to gunfire in a certain area even before residents can call 911 to report it. 

The Shot Spotter system uses GPS technology and acoustical sensors, strategically placed in high-crime areas, to detect gunfire. When shots ring out, the system sends an alert to dispatchers, who can immediately send deputies to the area.  

In the year or so the Shot Spotter system was on loan to BSO, the agency credits four arrests to the sound-sensing technology. 

The problem is deputies spent too much time running on false alarms. One could say the Shot Spotter system worked too well because it alerted BSO to every sharp sound in the neighborhood. At $750,000 per location, the agency feels the Shot Spotter will deliver too many bangs, and not enough busts. 

"We evaluated it, we tested it, we did a cost-benefit analysis, and at this point we just can't justify the expense compared to the result that we got," said BSO spokesman Jim Leljedal.